galvanize graphics by bruce cayone

Monday, October 30, 2006

Conversation: What Next?

galvanize 06 image grid

At the end of its six-week programme, what has Galvanize achieved?

Galvanize 2006 provided a platform for twenty different projects or events, and many hours of conversation, both formal and informal. Hundreds of people joined our audiences, and thousands encountered Galvanize projects in the public spaces of Port of Spain. Many more people engaged with the Galvanize initiative via the blog and Flickr set. What is the lasting value of these interactions? What has Galvanize really meant to its participants? Most important, where does Galvanize go next?

The concluding event in the Galvanize 2006 programme is an open conversation addressing these and other questions. The Galvanize advisory team--artists Mario Lewis, Christopher Cozier, Steve Ouditt, and Peter Doig, CCA director Charlotte Elias, and writer and editor Nicholas Laughlin--will be joined by architect Sean Leonard and critic and curator Kevin Power in an assessment of the 2006 programme and a discussion of possible plans for the future. As at all Galvanize events, audience participation is very welcome. The team particularly hopes that members of the public who have attended Galvanize events will come out to share their opinions and ideas. All are invited.

After the conversation, there will be a chance to relax, hang out, and celebrate the end of the Galvanize 2006 programme.

The Galvanize team is particularly pleased that Dr Kevin Power will be joining this concluding conversation. Power holds the chair of North American literature at the University of Alicante, and is a former sub-director of conservation, research, and outreach at the Museo Nacional Centor de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. He is the author of numerous books, essays, and articles, as well as four volumes of poems, and has curated twelve exhibitions, including shows focusing on work by Cuban and Puerto Rican artists.

What Next? Galvanize Post-Mortem will be held on Thursday 2 November, 2006, at 6.30 pm, in the InterAmericas Space at CCA7

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Date change for "What Next?"

The final event in the Galvanize 2006 programme, the conversation titled "What Next?: Galvanize Post-Mortem", has been postponed from Thursday 26 October to Thursday 2 November. The time and place remain the same: 6.30 pm, at the InterAmericas Space at CCA7. Further notes on "What Next?" will be posted soon on the Galvanize blog.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conversation: Monsters and Other Animals: Poems and Fictions

james aboud
vahni capildeo
anu lakhan

James Christopher Aboud, Vahni Capildeo, and Anu Lakhan

"Without Lagahoo, water has no shape,
But Lagahoo takes his shape from the water...."

"The innocence of Monsters is that they are born old...."

"In the early stages her skin seemed to be shrinking, an insistent tingling accompanied the sensation that her skin no longer fit.... A network of lines appeared. Like a net, said Mother. No, she said, like scales...."

"Monsters and Other Animals: Poems and Fictions" brings together poet James Christopher Aboud and poet and fiction writer Anu Lakhan to read from their recent work, and engage with Nicholas Laughlin in a public conversation. The event will also include a reading from the poems of Vahni Capildeo, who is unable to appear in person, but who will have a virtual presence through her work.

Why have these writers chosen their particular forms, and what are their influences? Where do they fit in the tradition of Trinidadian or Caribbean writing--if they do fit? Why does the theme of the "monster", of metamorphosis, recur in their work? Who is the "monster"? Is every writer a "monster" of some kind?

Bios: James Christopher Aboud has published two collections of poems: The Stone Rose (1986) and Lagahoo Poems (2004). * Vahni Capildeo has published one full-length collection of poems, No Traveller Returns (2003), and a poetry chapbook, Person Animal Figure (2005). * Anu Lakhan writes about books and food for The Caribbean Review of Books and Caribbean Beat. She also writes fiction and poems.

Monsters and Other Animals: Fictions and Poems will be held on Thursday 19 October, 2006, at 6.30 pm, in the InterAmericas Space at CCA7

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Performance: "Meta-Osmotica": Akuzuru

akuzuru atonement in progress

Akuzuru at work on her Galvanize project Atonement for Our Transgressions

"Meta-Osmotica", a "sculpture performance" by artist Akuzuru, is a continuation of her recently mounted public installation Atonement for Our Transgressions.

"'Meta-Osmotica' seeks to deal with the beginnings. It will be a dark performance, a sculptural interplay between corporeality and the cosmos. The artist will be attired completely in black, surrounded by a mound of 'umbilical rope' made from pieces of used clothing tied together, with a lone lit candle, trying to 'birth forth'. An excerpt from John Coltrane's classic 'A Love Supreme' will pervade the spatial texture to unite with gesture. This is a sensorial piece which deals with past experiential associations, political stagnation on the part of the people, unnecessary material excesses, and of course atonement."

Meta-Osmotica will be performed on Tuesday 17 October, 2006, at 6.30 pm, on the outdoor stage at Form and Function Design, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook.

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Retrospective: Design Works by Illya Furlonge-Walker

illya slow wine

"Slow Wine", a conceptual sketch from the notebooks of Illya Furlonge-Walker

Illya Furlonge-Walker (1967-2006) pursued graphic design with one eye on the classic line-work of Lubalin and Chermayeff and another on the liberating potential of the computer. His work was perfectly capable of speaking for itself, but in a world cluttered with faux art and computer assisted design, Illya articulated his vision with increasing fluency and persuasive power to a growing range of clients who benefited from his passion for clarity in communication.

In a short but intense life, he began as a freelancer, hand-painting stylish and witty t-shirt designs that embraced the styles of the day and deftly turned them upside down with his quirky sense of irony. He went on to work in television, styling computer graphics for the new CCN TV6, pushed further into graphic design, and finally, paring away all except the essential, settled into adulthood as a father and husband, founding Form and Function Design as the vehicle for his vision of art in the service of commerce.

His legacy is a remarkable and mature collection of corporate ID designs, annual reports, posters, and album jackets that demarcate a high-water mark in the design evolution of Trinidad and Tobago. He was influenced in his career path by the photographer Mark Lyndersay, and artists and designers Eddie Bowen, Steve Ouditt, Christopher Cozier, and Russel Halfhide.

A retrospective of Illya Furlonge-Walker's work, from completed design marks and annual reports to quirky sketch materials and concept ideas from his many notebooks, will be on display at Form and Function Design, 5B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook, from 17 to 26 October, 2006. The exhibition, curated by Mark Lyndersay, opens with an informal launch on Tuesday 17 October at 6.30 pm.

illya furlonge-walker [lyndersay]

Illya Furlonge-Walker, photographed by Mark Lyndersay

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Visibly Absent 1.3: Griffith, Noel, Smailes

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. The final three, Doppelganger by Marlon Griffith, The Black Eye Project by Nikolai Noel, and Back in Times by Alex Smailes, opened on 12 October, 2006, and run until 26 October.

marlon griffith doppelganger still

Marlon Griffith's Doppelganger is a multimedia installation tackling questions about law enforcement and public profiling, inspired by his own encounters with the police. The work is installed in the Art Room at CCA7 (open Tuesdays to Fridays from 12 to 5 pm, Thursdays from 12 to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm).


black eye project at cca 1

Nikolai Noel's Black Eye Project includes graffiti icons at outdoor locations around Port of Spain, and an installation in the Art Room at CCA7 (open Tuesdays to Fridays from 12 to 5 pm, Thursdays from 12 to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm).


back in times 1

Alex Smailes's Back in Times is a series of portrait photographs taken at the monthly "Back in Times" parties at the SWWTU Hall in Port of Spain. The photographs were installed at the SWWTU Hall for an actual "Back in Times" party on 7 October, and then reinstalled at CCA7 (open Tuesdays to Fridays from 12 to 5 pm, Thursdays from 12 to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm).

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"Too local for rock, too rock for local"

make a holy noise 5

Gary Hector and Damon Homer of jointpop performing for a small but enthusiastic audience at the Galvanize event "Make a Holy Noise", on Saturday 14 October, 2006, in the InterAmericas Space at CCA7. The performance was preceded by a public conversation between Hector and Homer and writer Jonathan Ali, ranging over issues of origins, influences, audiences, "songs you may never hear on the radio", and the challenges of writing and performing rock music firmly rooted in the Trinidadian consciousness and vernacular

make a holy noise set list

The set list from "Make a Holy Noise"

See more photos from "Make a Holy Noise" in this Flickr set

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Sound & Lyrics: "Make a Holy Noise": Gary Hector and jointpop

jointpop at anarchy 5

jointpop, with Gary Hector at far right

On 14 October, Gary Hector and Damon Homer of jointpop, the groundbreaking Trinidadian rock band, will perform an acoustic set at CCA7, preceded by a public conversation between Hector and writer Jonathan Ali.

Gary Hector: "Most of [the band's] great performances were in underground situations, because that is what we were, that is what we were best suited to. We don't belong in the big venues, in the fetes ... we've never really been a band you can dance to, we're a band you listen to."

Read Tracy Assing's interview with Gary Hector in this feature on the Trinidadian rock music scene from Caribbean Beat magazine.

Make a Holy Noise: Gary Hector and jointpop will take place on Saturday 14 October, 2006, at 8 pm, in the InterAmericas Space at CCA7.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Visibly Absent: Doppelganger, by Marlon Griffith

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. This is the eighth in a series of notes on each artist and his or her project.

marlon griffith report

Self-portrait of Marlon Griffith incorporating an actual police complaints form

Bio: Marlon Griffith attended the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute and has worked as a Carnival designer for several years; the traditions of mas inform most of his work. He has been an artist in residence at the Bag Factory and City + Suburban Studios in Johannesburg and the Mino Paper Art Village in Japan. He has participated in several groups shows in Trinidad and abroad.

Statement on Doppelganger: The title of this work is a term to describe an apparition or double. The project looks at the idea of profiling and public issues surrounding law enforcement; also at public perceptons of people we interact with every day--stereotypes, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds.

Doppelganger was created out of a series of events in which I had uncomfortable encounters with the police and other law enforcement officials. Such encounters, vulgar displays of power, happen on a regular day-to-day basis to many citizens. The work seeks to address these issues and asks the question, who is going to protect us from the protectors?

Doppelganger will run from 16 to 26 October, 2006, in the Art Room at CCA7 (open Tuesdays to Fridays from 12 to 5 pm, Thursdays from 12 to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm).

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Open Screening: new video works by artists in and of the Caribbean

omega phil coy

From Omega (2004; single channel video projection), by Phil Coy

The Galvanize 2006 programme includes daily screenings of artists' video works in the Art Room at CCA7 (14 September to 26 October, 2006; Tuesdays to Fridays, 12 to 5 pm, Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm).

Video works include:

Osaira Muyale: God Dog and Illusion
Elspeth Duncan: Light and Night and Angel
Jo Ferly: The Strange Fruit
Natalie Wei: And They Say "Don't Play With Poison"
Phil Coy: Omega
Tirzo Martha: The Suicide Note
Remy Jungerman: Flattened Toad Force/Office
Myrtha Richards: Parenthese
Marc Marie-Joseph: Parenthese

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Buy the t-shirt

galvanize t-shirt

Official limited edition Galvanize 2006 t-shirts are available for purchase. All profits go to support the Galvanize programme. The t-shirts, available in black or white, feature the Galvanize sign created by fete sign-painter Bruce Cayone. Available at CCA7 for TT$100, or by mail order for US$17 plus shipping and handling. For more information, contact CCA at or (868) 625 1889.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

"You ready to dance?"

alex smailes at back in times 2

Photographer Alex Smailes at the opening of Back in Times, SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Saturday 7 October, 2006

See more photos from this event in these two Flickr sets: 1, 2

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Visibly Absent: Back in Times opens at SWWTU

back in times (10)

Photographer Alex Smailes's Galvanize project is Back in Times, a series of portraits, taken over a period of two years, of patrons of the monthly "Back in Times" parties held at the SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road in Port of Spain. The photographs will be shown in that very space, and the exhibition opens at SWWTU Hall on Saturday, 7 October, 2006, at an actual "Back in Times" party. All are invited.

From 7.30 to 9 pm, admission is free, with a door charge after 9. There will be music, a cash bar, and a chance to see Smailes's images in the location where they were made. The theme for the evening is "Victoria's Lady in Black"--dress up smart. Parking along Wrightson Road.

Back in Times runs until 26 October.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Performance: "Fresh Water": Makeda Thomas

makeda thomas

Makeda Thomas

"Why didn't you come earlier if you wanted to know about me?

"I'm in a watery state, caught in the midst.

"I don't know if I'm coming or going, let alone able to tell you about me.

"If you wanted to know about me, you should have come earlier."

Galvanize 2006 welcomes guest artist Makeda Thomas, dancer and choreographer, whose new work "Fresh Water" will be premiered on Saturday 7 October, 2006, at CCA7.

Bio: Makeda Thomas creates new dance works through cross-disciplinary collaboration with artists around the world. Her work is a fresh, rich use of contemporary modern and traditional dance with a platform that gives equal importance to the stage, workshop performances, and multimedia projects for dance-theatre experimentation. She is the artistic director of Makeda Thomas/Dance Projects (founded in 2003), which has presented work at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cine Teatro Africa in Maputo, and Links Hall in Chicago, among other places. In 2004, she was named resident choreographer of Companhia Nacional De Canto e Danca of Mozambique. For more information, visit her website Roots and Wings Movement.

"Fresh Water" (2006) will be danced by Makeda Thomas with video by Elspeth Duncan and music by Nantambu Drummers. Features the music of Ella Andall, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Cliff. The programme also includes a performance of "A Sense of Place" (2005), danced by Shani Collins, Khaleah London, and Sonja Dumas. With music by Zen One and video by Makeda Thomas. The event will be introduced by Hazel Franco, and there will be a post-performance discussion with the artists, moderated by Dionne Griffith.

"Fresh Water" takes its title from the Trinidadian term for someone who talks, dresses, or acts American without having gone overseas (crossing salt water). The term also describes someone who may have been overseas, but may be reminded they are still Caribbean. The work was created in the midst of the choreographer's return home after twenty years living abroad. "Fresh Water" is a deeply personal work, giving voice to a unique cultural experience, and demonstrating why "fresh water" is also the one resource humans depend on to survive.

Fresh Water will be held on Saturday 7 October, 2006, at 7.00 pm, in the InterAmericas Space at CCA7.

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"This is a work in progress"

asad steve sean darren at co-rd.JPG

Architect Asad Mohammed, artist Steve Ouditt, and architects Sean Leonard and Darren Brathwaite at the launch of "What Is Worth Talking About: Points for Reference in Our Changing Urban Landscape", at the Co-rd offices on Gray Street in St. Clair, Thursday 5 October, 2006

co-rd laird video

"What Is Worth Talking About: Points for Reference in Our Changing Urban Landscape" is a multi-media installation created by architect Sean Leonard, exploring questions about architecture and urban planning in Port of Spain. The installation includes video interviews with architects Colin Laird (pictured), Darren Brathwaite, and Asad Mohammed, and artist Steve Ouditt. The interviews are played on four screens scattered around the offices of Co-rd on Gray Street in St. Clair

(See more photos from the launch event in this Flickr set.)

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Conversation: What Is Worth Talking About: Points for Reference in Our Changing Urban Landscape

what is worth talking about

Port of Spain is changing rapidly before our eyes--what does it mean for the people who live, work, and play in the city? Who determines or influences the evolution of our shared urban space? What is the role of the architect, the urban planner, the government official, the property developer, the ordinary citizen?

Architect Sean Leonard has collaborated with fellow practitioners Asad Mohammed, Colin Laird, and Darren Brathwaite, as well as artist Steve Ouditt, to create a two-part multimedia installation addressing these and other questions about architecture and urbanism in Port of Spain. It includes "conversations presenting perspectives on the relevance, presence and/or absence of feasible design initiatives in the present rapid reconfiguration of our urban landscape", video footage of the changing city fabric, and audio recordings of sounds of the city in transformation.

What Is Worth Talking About: Points for Reference in Our Changing Urban Landscape will run from Thursday 5 October to Wednesday 18 October at two locations: Co-ord, 2B Alexandra Street, St. Clair, and Form & Function Design, 15B Gaston Johnston Street, Woodbrook. The project will be launched with an informal "conversation" at 7.30 pm on Thursday 5 October at Co-rd, 2B Alexandra Street, St. Clair. All are welcome

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Visibly Absent 1.2: Akuzuru, Alexander, Nicholas

At the core of Galvanize is "Visibly Absent", a series of nine artists' projects. The second three, Atonement for Our Transgressions by Akuzuru, Progressive Blindness by Tessa Alexander and Light, Lyric & Boxes by Parker Nicholas, opened on 29 September, 2006, and run until 11 October.

akuzuru atonement

Akuzuru's Atonement for Our Transgressions is an outdoor installation using bamboo poles and discarded clothing, in the Queen's Park Savannah (northern side, opposite the Botanic Gardens). Open 24 hrs.


progressive blindness 1

Tessa Alexander's Progressive Blindness incorporates paintings and a video installation at Eddie Bowen's studio, 25 Sydenham Avenue, St. Ann's. Open Monday to Friday, 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm. For more information, contact the artist at (868) 745-6816.


parker nicholas water wheel

Parker Nicholas's Light, Lyrics & Boxes is a series of sculptures, some incorporating found objects, installed at Mode Alive, Frederick Street opposite Woodford Square, Downtown Port of Spain. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

"All our music is calypso"

12 at galvanize 4.JPG

Flugelhorn player Brendon Moore, guest bass guitarist Peter Noel, frontman Sheldon Holder, drummer Makesi Joseph, and lead guitarist John Hussain of 12 the band performing at the Galvanize event "Naked as You Born"; Saturday 30 September, 2006, Alice Yard, Roberts Street, Woodbrook

12 at galvanize 1.JPG

Flugelhorn player Brendon Moore, bass guitarist Nigel Irish, and frontman Sheldon Holder of 12 the band performing at the Galvanize event "Naked as You Born"; Saturday 30 September, 2006, Alice Yard, Roberts Street, Woodbrook

christopher cozier and sheldon holder in conversation.JPG

Artist Christopher Cozier and musician Sheldon Holder of 12 the band in conversation at the Galvanize event "Naked as You Born", Saturday 30 September, 2006, Alice Yard, Roberts Street, Woodbrook

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"You could do that in the papers?"

news that stays news 1

Editor Nicholas Laughlin and writers Attillah Springer, B.C. Pires, and Lisa Allen-Agostini lead the Galvanize conversation on "News That Stays News: Newsprint Literature", at CCA7, 28 September, 2006

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